HOUSTON — Profitable use to come back onerous for Tony Finau. Now he is making it look straightforward.
Staked to a four-shot lead Sunday within the Houston Open, Finau stretched it to eight photographs on the again 9 and sailed to his third PGA Tour victory of the 12 months. With three bogeys that solely affected the margin, he closed with a 1-under 69 and received by 4.
Finau received solely as soon as in his first 185 tournaments upon becoming a member of the PGA Tour. Now he has 4 within the final 30 tournaments, together with three on this calendar 12 months.
“I’ve all the time had perception, however confidence once you win is contagious,” Finau mentioned. “I am beginning to put collectively a full-package sport.”
It actually confirmed over 4 days at Memorial Park.
Finau seized management with a 62 within the second spherical forward of the change in climate and was excellent in his bogey-free spherical of 68 in Saturday’s chilly and wind. Nobody got here near catching him on Sunday.
He completed at 16-under 264 and began the brand new season with a win — transferring to No. 12 on the planet rating — after shaking off some rust in a missed reduce final week at Mayakoba.
PGA Tour rookie Tyson Alexander received the B-flight, and it was an enormous deal. Alexander made a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th gap for a 66 and moved out of a tie for second to be the only real runner-up. That was value sufficient FedEx Cup factors that it must be a digital lock that he qualifies for the postseason subsequent summer season.
“Nice week for me,” Alexander mentioned. “I want Tony would have taken the week off.”
Ben Taylor missed his 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th for a 70 and completed third.
Finau mentioned he felt uncomfortable with such a big lead firstly of the spherical, and he conceded he had some doubts about how he would play.
These did not final terribly lengthy. He rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt on the second gap, after which shortly pulled away from the sector.
Finau holed a 7-foot birdie putt on the fifth, made a 40-foot birdie putt on the par-5 eighth and capped off the entrance 9 with a 20-foot birdie putt.
That gave him an eight-shot lead, and from there it was matter of staying upright.
“It was a kind of days I fought and fought, and I made quite a lot of good putts that calmed me,” Finau mentioned. “I’ve by no means been on this place. I had quite a lot of nerves. Total, because the spherical went on, I felt higher. I used to be pleased to get the ‘W’ at present.”
He did not make a bogey till the tenth gap, after which he dropped two extra photographs alongside the again 9 from a bunker and with a protracted three-putt. Even so, nobody ever obtained nearer than the four-shot margin on the finish of the spherical.
Alex Noren had a 68 and tied for fourth to maneuver to No. 45 on the planet. He might want to keep within the prime 50 by the top of the 12 months for any hope of a Masters invitation.
Masters champion Scottie Scheffler closed with a 67 and tied for ninth. He wanted a win to switch Rory McIlroy at No. 1 on the planet.
McIlroy is taking part in subsequent week in Dubai to wrap up the European tour season, whereas Scheffler will subsequent play on the Hero World Problem within the Bahamas, a 20-man discipline that gives world rating factors.